Friday, September 9, 2011


Following President Obama’s jobs address, the Office of New York City Comptroller John C. Liu produced the following preliminary economic analysis of his proposals and their potential effects on New York City. 

“President Obama has put forward a plan that, if enacted, will deliver significant benefits to New York City’s economy,” Comptroller Liu said.  “Although the President has indicated that the jobs plan will be paid for, specifics on funding have yet to be identified.  The President’s plan is in the best interests of New Yorkers, but we must remain vigilant and ensure that any potential spending cuts do not disproportionately impact our City.”

In his address to a Joint Session of Congress, President Obama proposed a $447 billion package of tax cuts and spending measures, as part of the American Jobs Act, designed to “put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working.”

As the United States consists of a number of regional economies with distinct demographics and industries, the President’s proposals would affect States and Cities in different ways.

Our preliminary analysis of the impact the American Jobs Act would have on New York City is as follows:

§  The payroll tax cut would provide a total benefit of $4.8 billion to New York City workers and create or preserve 25,000 jobs during 2012. Benefits will vary depending on individual salaries. For example, a worker earning $25,000 would receive an annual tax cut of $775, while a worker earning $100,000 would receive an annual tax cut of $3,100. 
§  The extension of the emergency unemployment benefits would help a portion of the 190,000 City residents who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks.
§  Every $1 billion in increased infrastructure spending in the City would create or preserve 7,500 jobs. While the unemployment rate in 2010 for New York City was 8.5 percent, the unemployment rate in the construction industry was 14.6 percent.
§  Federal educational aid could help restore 3,700 teaching positions slated for reduction in FY 2012 and FY 2013. 
Payroll Tax Cut

The President has proposed a $175 billion program to cut payroll taxes in half for every working American during 2012, which would reduce the Social Security tax levied on income up to $106,800 from 6.2 percent to 3.1 percent.  The 2011 tax cut currently in effect reduced Social Security tax to 4.2 percent and was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2011.

We estimate this tax cut would provide a total benefit of $4.8 billion to New York City workers and create or preserve 25,000 jobs[1] in the city during 2012. 

Estimated Savings From 3.1 percent Employee Payroll Tax Holiday For NYC Residents, by Borough
Estimated Number of Workers Affected
Estimated Savings                          ($ in millions)

Staten Island
Source: US Social Security Administration; Bureau of Labor Statistics; NYC Comptroller's Office

Extending the payroll tax deduction would also have a positive effect on the City’s fiscal picture. If one-third of that amount is spent on consumer items subject to City sales taxes, sales tax revenue would be increased by about $70 million. Moreover, the jobs created through greater consumption spending would generate additional income tax, sales tax, and real estate tax revenues. 

While an extension of the payroll tax cut will have a positive impact on household budgets and on the city’s economy, it does raise several areas of concern.

First, the aging of the baby-boom generation will put financial stress on the Social Security program in the coming decades. Repeated use of payroll tax “holidays” to provide fiscal stimulus to the economy may complicate long-term efforts to shore up Social Security as households become acclimated to lower payroll taxes and political opponents of Social Security portray a return to the pre-2011 tax levels as a “tax increase.”

Second, while the Social Security threshold of $106,800 ensures that no individual will derive an annual benefit in excess of $3,310, it provides more substantial benefits to higher earners.  For example, a worker earning $25,000 would receive an annual tax cut of just $775, while a worker earning $100,000 would receive an annual tax cut of $3,100. Tax cuts could easily be designed to deliver more benefits to lower-income households and to provide a more reliable fiscal stimulus to the economy.
Our office is still assessing the impact of the $65 billion employer payroll tax holiday for small businesses and those who increase the size of their payrolls.

Extension of Emergency Unemployment Benefits

The President has proposed a $49 billion one-year extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which provides unemployment benefits for 47 weeks beyond the regular federal/state unemployment insurance program. Currently, New Yorkers are eligible for up to 86 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits consisting of:

§  Regular Unemployment Insurance – 26 weeks 
§  Extended Benefits (EB) - up to 13 weeks of benefits
§  Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) - 47 weeks of benefits
If the emergency unemployment benefits are not extended beyond the end of 2011, newly unemployed individuals and those currently receiving benefits for less than 39 weeks would be eligible for a maximum of 39 weeks of benefits.
Although it is difficult to project the value of this benefit extension for New York City residents, national estimates indicate that extra income will have some stimulatory effect on the national and local economies, increasing the rate of real GNP and GDP growth by 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points during 2012.
As the table below shows, there are over 325,000 unemployed New Yorkers.  As of July 2011, almost 190,000 city residents have been unemployed for over 26 weeks and more than 150,000 for over 39 weeks.
Unemployed in NYC by Age, Education and Duration


by borough:

Staten Island

by age:

16-24 yrs old
25-44 yrs old
45-59 yrs old
60 yrs and older

by education:

No HS diploma
HS, some college
BA or more

by duration:

26 weeks or less
27 to 39 weeks
40 weeks or more
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics: NYC Comptroller’s Office
While education is often considered the key to stable employment, it is noteworthy that in the present economic climate unemployment is not concentrated among the less educated. Over 83 percent of the city’s unemployed have at least a high school diploma and nearly one-quarter, or more than 75,000, have a B.A. or higher degree. Moreover, more than 80 percent are 25 years old or older and more than 30 percent are 45 years old or over.
Infrastructure Spending

The President has proposed a $50 billion program to rebuild the country’s transportation infrastructure, a $30 billion program to modernize schools and community colleges, and a $10 billion program to create a national infrastructure bank.

The City’s biennial Ten-Year Capital Strategy (TYCS) released in May 2011 totals $54.1 billion for the ten-year period from FY 2012 to FY 2021. The total reflects a 10 percent reduction in City-funded commitments as compared to the prior TYCS. In addition, the City’s FY 2011 Asset Information Management System Report shows that agencies’ state of good repair schedule will only meet 48 percent of the state of good repair needs identified in the Asset Survey Report[2] for the City’s infrastructure in FYs 2012 - 2015. While capital needs have expanded, the City’s investment in infrastructure has been on the decline, as demonstrated in the graph below.  Since the release of the FY 2008, TYCS planned capital spending has decreased by nearly $30 billion. Federal support could restore some portion of these reductions which would help revive dormant projects and delayed repairs.

Comparison of NYC’s Last Three Ten-Year Capital Strategies ($ in billions)
Comparison of NYC’s Last Three Ten-Year Capital Strategies.PNG

While it is unclear what portion of federal infrastructure spending would be allocated to the City, any increase in infrastructure spending would provide a much needed boost to the New York City construction industry which had seen employment drop from 128,612 in 2008 to 108,895 in 2010[3]. While the unemployment rate in 2010 for New York City was 8.5 percent, unemployment rate in the construction industry in the City was 14.6 percent[4].
Based on the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ employment multiplier for the construction industry, every $1 billion in increased infrastructure spending in the City will create 7,500 jobs in the City.
Providing Aid for Teachers

The President has proposed a $30 billion program to provide aid to municipalities to prevent reduction in public school teachers. The City’s June 2011 Plan shows a reduction of about 1,100 positions in FY 2013. This decline comes on top of the 2,600 teachers reduced through attrition without backfilling already reflected for FY 2012.  Thus, the cumulative decline in teacher headcount in the FY 2013 baseline is more in the order of 3,700. It is unclear what portion of the President’s proposal would be allocated to New York City. 

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Planned Teacher Headcount Reductions in the Department of Education June 2011 Plan.PNGPlanned Teacher Headcount Reductions in the Department of Education June 2011 Plan.PNG
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A Reminder from Con Edison


Con Edison warns its customers to beware of scammers and imposters claiming to be Con Edison employees.  
To prevent getting ripped off, Con Edison advises customers to be on alert if anyone asks you by telephone to arrange for prepaid credit cards as payment for your bill, or of sending money to any out-of-state address. These types of payments are not authorized by Con Edison.
We are also advising customers to never arrange payment or divulge account or personal information over the telephone, unless you are certain that you are speaking to an authorized Con Edison representative.
The Con Edison Web Site at offers a variety of approved and convenient options for bill payment.  Customers can also speak to a representative at 1-800-75-CONED for answers about their bill or other company-related business.
For meter reading operations, all Con Edison employees arriving at your home or business have visible photo identification badges and wear employee uniforms.  Feel free to ask or check for identification before allowing anyone into your home.
Customers who suspect that anyone is misrepresenting themselves as Con Edison employees should call their local police department.  

Print allCommunity Day & Movie Night in Seton Park
KRVC's First Movie Night in the Park - Saturday, September 10th, 8 pm in Seton Park (235th and Independence Avenue). Kick off the new school year with family, friends and neighbors at a sunset screening of E.T./The Extra-Terrestrial.  Admission is free!  
Community Day - Saturday, September 10th, 12-6 pm on Marble Hill Avenue (btwn W228th and W230th Streets). Come enjoy a day of fun with free entertainment, food, health screenings and more!  
 Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corp./KRVC

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bronx Redistricting Hearing Tomorrow

Congressional and state legislative redistricting

To gather public input regarding congressional and state legislative districts following the Census of 2010.

September 8, 2011
10:00 A.M.
Bronx Community College
Gould Memorial Library Auditorium
2155 University Ave
Bronx, New York

The Census of 2010 has been released. It reveals demographic change throughout New York State. Pursuant to the United States Constitution and the New York State Constitution, congressional and state legislative districts must be reconfigured to reflect the population changes that have occurred.
The new congressional and state legislative districts must be consistent with the "one person, one vote" decisions of the United States Supreme Court. In addition, the new congressional and state legislative districts must be constructed in conformity with the Voting Rights Act. The Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment wants to know how the public thinks the new congressional and state legislative districts should be configured.
Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Task Force at the above hearings should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible or contact the Task Force at (212) 618-1100. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.
Oral testimony will be limited to 5 minutes' duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Task Force will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Task Force staff as early as possible. In the absence of a request, witnesses will be scheduled in the order in which reply forms are postmarked.
Ten (10) copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Task Force would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Task Force's interest in hearing testimony from all sources.
In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Task Force, in accordance with its policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to legislative facilities and activities.
Michael F. Nozzolio Senator
Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment
John J. McEneny
Member of Assembly
Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment 

The Bronx WELCOMES ‘The Big 4’

Borough Natives Anthrax come home, Food & Drink Specials Await Metal Heads Visiting the Bronx

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is rolling out the welcome mat for fans coming to town to see iconic heavy metal bands Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer, “The Big 4,” all performing live right here in the Bronx on Wednesday, September 14 at Yankee Stadium.

Borough President Diaz, whose love of hip hop is well known and who initiated the first-ever “Bronx SalsaFest” this past summer, is “moshing” to a much heavier beat this month.

“This mega concert, one of the most anticipated events in recent memory, will bring thousands of new visitors to the Bronx,” said Borough President Diaz.  “We’re inviting concert goers to come early and count down to the start of the show at our great neighborhood restaurants and bars, and take in a little of what the Bronx has to offer.”

The “Big 4” concert also represents a homecoming for Anthrax, which features three native Bronxites among their members--Charlie Benante, Frank Bello and Rob Caggiano. Both Benante and Bello grew up in Throggs Neck, while Caggiano is a native of Pelham Parkway. In honor of the band’s return home, Borough President Diaz will officially declare September 14 as “Anthrax Day in the Bronx.”

“The Bronx may be known as the home of hip-hop and salsa, but make no mistake, our musical contributions are much more expansive. These heavy metal legends grew up right here in our borough, and I am proud to welcome Anthrax back to their Bronx home,” said Borough President Diaz.

In the build up to the concert, the Bronx Tourism Council at BOEDC is spearheading the Metal Heads Welcome promotion, which spotlights the businesses in the 161st Street neighborhood surrounding the stadium.  Restaurants and bars will offer choices like “Metallica Martinis” and “Metal Mayhem Meatball” specials and pipe in music by the world-famous bands. Baltimore-based radio station 98Rock FM will also broadcast live from the neighborhood, capturing the energy and enthusiasm of the Bronx crowds gathered for this historic heavy metal event.

“Concerts at Yankee Stadium like the ‘Big 4’ and college football games later this year are providing an unprecedented opportunity for more foot traffic and increased business for area merchants,” said Doris Quinones, executive director of the Bronx Tourism Council.  “We’re delighted to be working with these great local businesses to attract visitors and to redefine what constitutes busy season at 161st Street.”

Echoing the Borough President’s enthusiasm is Joe Bastone, owner of Yankee Tavern, who went to school with some of the Anthrax band members and who is participating in the tourism council promotion.

“All of these events are great for neighborhood merchants,” said Bastone. “The more of them, the better.”

For more information on things to see and do in the Bronx, visit

For more information about the borough’s “Big 4” promotions, contact Doris Quinones, Executive Director of the Bronx Tourism Council, at 718-590-3527/347-524-4727 or; or John DeSio, Communications Director at the office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., at 718-590-3543 or

Riverdale Temple Holiday Gift & Craft Sale

“EARLY BIRD” SPECIALS!  Beat the holiday rush!
When:  SUNDAY - NOVEMBER 13, 2011
Time:   9:00 AM until 3:00 PM
            4545 Independence Ave., Bronx, NY 10471
Great refreshments!
**VENDOR SPACES AVAILABLE FOR THE DAY - First come, first served!
$ 60.00  PER  6’  TABLE  or  $ 80.00  PER  8’  TABLE- with your own table
$ 10.00 extra if you do not have your own table!
Please send your check to:  Riverdale Temple Gift and Craft Sale
4545 Independence Avenue, Riverdale, NY 10471 or pay online at
our website at

Vendor’s name:____________________________________________________
Address: __________________________________________________________
Telephone # 1 ______________________#2_____________________________
E-mail address: ____________________________________________________
Description of merchandise: __________________________________
Contact Rita at: or call (718) 614-4932
Or Debbie at:      (718) 548-3800 ext. 1